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The evolution of the Hungarian Defence Forces’ volunteer reserve component after the Cold War


[ 1 ] Department of Military Leadership and General Subjects, National University of Public Service, Hungária krt. 9–11, H-1101, Budapest, Hungary

Year of publication


Published in

Security and Defence Quarterly

Journal year: 2022 | Journal volume: vol. 40 | Journal number: no. 4

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Army
  • Hungary
  • Military security
  • National security

EN When Hungary transformed to an all-volunteer force in 2004, most attention was given to the regular component and very little mention was made of reservists. The main goal of this study is to draw attention to the importance of, and the potential, in the reserve component using historical research to produce an overview of how the reserve component of the Hungarian Defence Forces has evolved since the end of the Cold War. Information was collected and analysed from the discussed time period and interpretations were made of the collected evidence through systematic methods appraising all available studies to synthesise the findings. Similarly to other countries in the region, more than a century of conscription and the Warsaw Pact legacy still haunts the Hungarian Defence Forces. Fortunately, Hungary’s NATO membership spearheaded the drive for qualitative change within the armed forces and more attention was paid to a volunteer reserve system. Hungary’s NATO membership has ushered in a new era of security guarantees and obligations which, among other things, brought with it the realisation that the time for qualitative change in the armed forces had come. Among other changes, an initial shift of emphasis towards a reserve system – followed by the adoption of the all-volunteer force model – made it clear that a new basis had to be provided upon which to address the reserve issue in Hungary.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

75 - 86




License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

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Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

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